Pakkies premiere

From left are Elton Jansen, Shanique Opperman, Kay Smith, Faniswa Yisa, Jill Levenberg, Amy Jephta, Charlyn Jansen, Jacky Andrews and Eddie Andrews at Ster Kinekor at the Liberty Promenade on Thursday September 13.

More than 100 people from Mitchell’s Plain attended the premiere of Ellen, The Ellen Pakkies Story, at Ster Kinekor at the Liberty Promenade on Thursday September 13.

The movie tells the story of Lavender Hill mother Ellen Pakkies who strangled her tik-addicted son who had been terrorising her and her husband for years.

The script was written by Beacon Valley’s Amy Jephta who won the Best Script Award at the KykNET Silwerskerm Festival for her role in the movie.

At the same festival, Jill Levenberg, who plays the role of Ellen, won Best Actress and Jarrid Geduld, who stars as the troubled Abie Pakkies, was awarded Best Actor.

Last week’s movie premier was hosted by Elton Jansen, councillor of Ward 43 and Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south.

“My own curiosity is what led me to take on this project,” Amy told the Plainsman. “I wanted to know why, why did this happen to her, what happened in your life that compelled you to do this? I was not prepared for the story that came from Ms Pakkies. I was not prepared for the truth of the story.”

Jill added that she had auditioned for the part many years ago and really wanted to be a part of the movie. “When her story broke in 2007, I had so much compassion for her, I immediately understood. In Cape Town we’re not a stranger to tik, we know the effects of it. A couple of weeks later, I got the part.

“I was sexually molested from 6 to 9 years old. The reason I came out with this in public was because I realised that aunty Ellen was so brave with sharing her story with the world.

“We are necessary in one another’s lives. When we become transparent, open and honest about our journey – whether it is our past – we facilitate mutual healing to ourselves and people receiving the information.

“I always say that you are not your story, you are beautiful just the way you are.”

At the event the audience got to interact with Amy and Jill, asking them about their personal experiences with the movie and how it affected them.

Amy and Jill said they knew that this was the reality of so many people and it was their mission to tell stories like this.